A lot of attention is being paid to last night's Follow The Money on Fox Business Network, during which host Eric Bolling and crew had themselves an extended wallow in the birther swamp, in spite of the release of Obama's birth certificate, and in spite of Fox News' Shep Smith exhorting the media to "just freaking stop it."
Monica Crowley was on Bolling's panel and she eschewed the spittle-flecked lunacy of co-panelist Pamela Geller, instead going for a more high-brow justification of birtherism, bringing up the question of whether Obama qualifies as a "natural-born citizen":
There is court precedent stretching back more than a century supporting the definition of "natural-born citizen" as a person born on U.S. soil. The Supreme Court's ruling in INS v. Rios-Pineda (1985) noted that the respondents, a married couple who were citizens of Mexico, "had given birth to a child, who, born in the United States, was a citizen of this country." The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) that a child born in the U.S. to parents who were "subjects of the Emperor of China" was a U.S. citizen. Citing Wong Kim Ark, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that "persons born within the borders of the United States are 'natural born Citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents."
A 2009 Congressional Research Service report summed up the prevailing opinion on natural-born citizens:
As explained by the Supreme Court of the United States over the course of a number of years, it is well-settled from common law principles of jus soli ("law of the soil") extant in England and the Colonies at the time of Independence, as well as from subsequent constitutional provisions, as well as subsequent statutory law, that all persons born "in" the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens of the United States "at birth. As such, any person physically born "in" the United States, regardless of the citizenship of one's parents (unless such parents are foreign diplomatic personnel not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States), would appear to be a "natural born" citizen eligible to be President of the United States.
The weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that "natural born Citizen" means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship "at birth" or "by birth," including any child born "in" the United States (other than to foreign diplomats serving their country), the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements.
So you can put your faith in the "weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion," or you can trust Monica Crowley, who also believes Obama is lying about being black. Shouldn't be a tough choice.